Tier I – Policy – Acceptance of Specialized Life Preservers instead of Approved Lifejackets or Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) for emergency response teams

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1 Policy objective

1.1 Improve the safety of enforcement agency special operations groups that operate under the Small Vessel Regulations which have unique equipment needs that aren’t covered by existing standards.

2 Policy statement

2.1 Life preservers constantly worn by enforcement agency special operations groups team members operating under the scope of this policy, that are manufactured and used in accordance with the recommended standards of their organizations and for which design and testing results have been submitted to and accepted by TCMSS as complying with all of the criteria in section 4 of the Small Vessel Regulations and that are demonstrating task specific design and adequate testing, will be accepted for use in lieu of the carriage of approved lifejackets and personal floatation devices.

2.2 This policy acknowledges the unique competencies of these enforcement agency special operations groups organizations by accepting their equipment as meeting the Small Vessel Regulation Section 4 (2) (e) requirement for conformity to recommended practices and standards for the equipment in accordance with applicable and recognized practices for their operations.

2.3 Documentation supporting the suitability and applicability of this equipment for the task for which it is to be used, that has been prepared by an agency or government department, within the scope of this policy, shall be considered as an applicable recommended practice or standard according to Section 4 of the Small Vessel Regulations once reviewed and accepted by TCMSS.

2.4 To be considered acceptable, the documentation presenting the recommended practice or standard shall contain, in its title, a numerical reference. It shall be dated with the revision number noted and the level of authorization, including the name of the authorizing person, shall be present. TCMSS shall be notified of any changes to the design or components of the life preserver.

2.5 Life preservers worn on vessels within the scope of this policy shall be labelled in accordance with the requirements of Section 4 of the Small Vessel Regulations indicating that they are manufactured in accordance with the recommended practice or standard for special operations group duties as determined by the organisation responsible for the safety and training of the wearer. A reference to the documentation required by section 2.3 shall be included on the label.

3 Scope

3.1 This policy applies to all vessels to which the Small Vessel Regulations apply that are navigating with federal, provincial or municipal enforcement organisations personnel onboard, who are carrying out the duties of emergency response teams deployed for tactical marine interventions or training for these operations.

4 Authority

4.1 Section 4 for substitute safety equipment of the Small Vessel Regulations made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

4.2 This policy falls under the overall administrative authority of the Director General of Marine Safety and Security.

4.3 The Marine Safety and Security Executive Committee has approved this policy for general use.

5 Responsibility

5.1 The Executive Director of Domestic Vessel Regulatory Oversight for the development, approval and maintenance of this policy.

5.2 The Regional Directors of Marine Safety and Security are responsible for implementing this policy.

5.3 Please email questions or comments to marinesafety-securitemaritime@tc.gc.ca, or mail to:

Manager, Small and Fishing Vessels, Design and Equipment Standards (AMSDS)
Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
330 Sparks St
Ottawa ON K1A 0N5

6 Related documents

6.1 TP 14475, Canadian Life Saving Appliance Standard

6.2 TP 14612, Procedures for Approval of Life-Saving Appliances and Fire Safety Systems, Equipment and Products

7 Background

7.1 All vessels, except those owned by the Canadian Armed Forces, must meet the requirements of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.

7.2 Many government organisations have specialized marine tactical teams, such as the RCMP Marine Security Emergency Response Teams, who respond to incidents with the use of small vessels on the water.

7.3 The Small Vessel Regulations require that all vessels carry a properly fitting approved lifejacket or personal flotation device for each person on board. The standards to which equipment must be certified, in order to be approved by the Minister, are included in the regulations.

7.4 These standards are not intended to address the specific requirements of armed tactical team members carrying high loads associated with the carriage of body armour, helmet, firearms, ammunition magazines, etc. nor the requirement for full integration of the life preserver with other equipment that is necessary for the wearer to safely and efficiently carry out critical actions associated with these operations.

8 Date of application

8.1 This policy comes into effect on October 12, 2021.

9 Date for review or expiry

9.1 This policy will be reviewed in 5 years.

10 RDIMS Reference

10.1 The English version of this document is saved in RDIMS under reference number (17625547). The applied naming convention is (PUBLICATION – TP 13585 – POLICY - ACCEPTANCE OF SPECIALIZED LIFE PRESERVERS INSTEAD OF APPROVED LIFEJACKETS OR PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES (PFDS) FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAMS.

10.2 La version française du présent document est dans le SGDDI et porte le numéro de référence (17874012). La règle d'affectation des noms est (PUBLICATION – TP 13585 – POLITIQUE - ACCEPTATION DE GILETS DE SAUVETAGE SPÉCIALISÉS AU LIEU DE GILETS DE SAUVETAGE OU DE VÊTEMENTS DE FLOTTAISON INDIVIDUELS (VFI) APPROUVÉS POUR LES ÉQUIPES DE RÉPONSE AUX URGENCES.

10.3 This is the first approved and finalized revision of the English version of this document.

11 Keywords

  • Lifejacket
  • Tactical
  • Emergency response teams
  • Substitute equipment

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